Cray Wanderers 1-1 Phoenix Sports
Cray Wanderers 1-1 Phoenix Sports

Cray Wanderers and Phoenix Sports shared the points in this local derby at a rainy Hayes Lane on Saturday in an entertaining game that saw the visitors start the brighter and the home side finish on top.

With Tom Phipp, Karl Dent and Keeper Nick Blue missing from the Cray line up, it took a while for Tony Russell’s side to settle, with replacement keeper Lewis Carey struggling initially with The Wands style of passing the ball out from the back.

When The Wands did get going debutant Joe Taylor set up Junior Dadson who shot wide and then Jerome Frederico shot wide following a quick free kick.

But just as the home side looked to be taking the initiative, Phoenix went in front when Mitchell Nelson and Carey failed to communicate over a high ball and the defender headed it past the keeper for Alex Teniola to score into an empty net against his old club.

Cray rallied again with Sean Roberts firing narrowly wide and Taylor having a shot saved by Steve Phillips, but Sports also went close when Carey’s misplaced goal kick went straight to Tony Robinson who put his chance over the bar.

The second half saw Cray start really well and they were level within two minutes when Dadson crossed for Taylor to score his first goal for the club from close range.

Ben Mundele went close soon after and then he also set up Taylor who took one touch too many in the box and saw hit shot headed off the line.

Teniola was just off target for Phoenix on a rare attack from the visitors before Cray went on to dominate late on.

Freddie Parker had a free kick saved by Phillips after a foul on Archie Johnson who made a huge difference to the home side after coming on as a half time sub.

Sports defender Danny Young was sent off with eight minutes to go for a cynical foul on Dadson who was about to race clear and The Wands carried on pressing.

Johnson crossed for Taylor whose header was saved, then Dadson saw his powerful shot deflected on to the bar and Mundele hit a low drive just wide, but there was no way through for Cray and they had to settle for a point.

The result sees Cray maintain their unbeaten record in the league, where they lead by 11 points from Hastings Utd.

The Wands now travel down to Horsham next Saturday looking to rediscover their winning touch and add to their impressive lead.

Cray line up: Carey, Williams, Mundele, Nelson, Leader, Pritchard, Henry (Johnson 45), Roberts, Dadson, Frederico (Parker 74), Taylor.

Subs not used: Solebo, Lewis, Evans.

Phoenix line up: Phillips, Andrews, Proberts, Bryon, Young, Robinson, Barry, Lee, Ansah (Miller-Annor 75), Teniola (Whitelock 90), Bird (Clarke 84).

Subs Not Used: Smith.

Goals: Cray – Taylor 47mins. Phoenix – Teniola 24mins.

HT 0-1 FT 1-1

Att: 162

Referee: Mr Lee Dyson